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Ul pillows that don't feel like a ballon
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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: pillow solved / 1.8 oz on 08/18/2011 20:52:05 MDT Print View

Mike C,
Do you use Ziploc brand? I couldn't find any sandwich size with a double zip, just the quart. Tried Kroger brand quart with double zip and Walmart quart freezer bags and neither of those hold the air. I'm hoping Ziploc brand will actually work or maybe my head is heavier than your's. :P

McLane Stone
(mstone) - F
Mike C! is the man on 08/19/2011 09:46:22 MDT Print View

I have found Mike C!'s method to work great for me. I use Ziplock freezer bags (they've held air the best for my big ol' head). I've found that if I blow up two to near maximum capacity, they fit nicely together in my cook stuff sack (Outdoor Research orange ditty). When I place them side by side in the stuff sack, a nice crevice is formed between them that cradles my head (the cradle is best formed by facing the zippers toward one another). I then take my buff and slide it over the stuff sack for a nice pillow case. Clearly, this sort of thing is highly subjective, and I'm sure that my stuff sack size dictates a lot of the pillow's shape. That being said, it's the best option I've found and it comes at .5oz for the two freezer bags. Thanks Mike C!

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Mike C! is the man on 08/19/2011 10:30:42 MDT Print View

I haven't tried Mike C!'s method yet (tho I intend to). What I've been doing has a reasonably small weight penalty (2.1 oz), is reasonably cheap, and somewhat multi-use.

I partly inflate a 2 liter platypus, wrap it in my trash compactor pack liner, and wrap that in my rain jacket. The rain jacket quiets the trash bag, and adds a bit more cush, but isn't really necessary. All that goes into a 10 liter silnylon stuff sack.

I find it very comfy, and a nice generous size. The stuff sack I've been using is an old Granite Gear #5 at 0.8 oz--of course, there are lighter options. The platy weighs 1.3 oz, and makes a good backup water carrier, but most places I prob. wouldn't carry it if I didn't use it for the pillow.

David Vo
Re: Ul pillows that don't feel like a ballon on 08/19/2011 11:36:57 MDT Print View

I'd recommend a pillow from Cocoon. Mine is down and is probably not the lightest but it compresses well and it's worth it for the comfort.

Dennis Park
(dpark) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Ul pillows that don't feel like a ballon on 08/19/2011 12:32:31 MDT Print View

This won't feel like a balloon.

I have a small piece of closed cell foam for a sit pad. (I'm sure many don't bother with this.) I either roll this up or if I want something thicker, incorporate anything I have left over(ie water bottle) and lash it in place with a piece of string. (Basically, secondary use for anything in my pack.) You can cover it with a bandana, plastic bag, stuff sac, Buff, etc for a clean surface on which to lie your melom.

The foam by itself is squishy and pretty comfortable. The water bottle makes it pretty firm so you may want to titrate to taste.

The only potential weight penalty is a sit pad but it won't deflate or pop.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Ziploc quality on 08/20/2011 12:38:43 MDT Print View

I must have terrible luck. Bought a box of Ziploc double-zip quart FREEZER bags last night to test for pillow and 8 of the first 10 I pulled form the box leaked. 6 of the 8 at the bottom corners and 2 actually had tiny holes you could see near the bottom edge away from the corners.

I'll be sure to test all future bags now after this since I FBC. I normally take a spare or two in case one does have a leak but 80% failure rate?!?!

I'm going to see if Walmart will let me exchange for a different box from hopefully a different lot.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
(lack of) ziploc quality on 08/20/2011 13:13:06 MDT Print View

Michael - I've had the same experience. I tried Mike C!'s idea with 7 Ziploc brand quart freezer double seal bags. By morning 3 or 4 were flat. I tried this on 3 different nights with the same result, even though I was careful to really zip them shut thoroughly. I only filled the bags about 3/4 full with air. It's a comfortable rig, if only the bags would hold the air! So I'm back to using raingear and tomorrow's socks as a pillow.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: (lack of) ziploc quality on 08/20/2011 14:30:42 MDT Print View

That's about what the other non-Ziploc bags I had tested were like. Most would be flat after a few hours. The Ziploc ones were flat within 5 minutes (5 of the 6) - I could hear the air escape. Mine were maybe half full to start (~1" thick if pressed flat).

Richard Barish
(rdbarish) - F

Locale: New Mexico
Foam on 08/21/2011 14:09:35 MDT Print View

I'm a stomach/side sleeper and also don't like inflated pillows. I use a piece of generic, large-cell foam, 8 x 11 x 2 inches. Weight: 48 grams / 1.7 ounces. I stuff it in the sack with clothes to compress for packing.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Foam on 08/21/2011 14:12:41 MDT Print View

I literally had this same idea while in bed last night. Do fabric stores sell open cell foam by the yard or will I have to cut up an eggcrate mattress pad?

Richard Barish
(rdbarish) - F

Locale: New Mexico
Foam on 08/21/2011 14:53:19 MDT Print View

Don't know. My pillow was cut from the foam from an old, bigger REI pillow that had a cover. I know that there was a kind of army-navy surplus store where I live that used to, and probably still does, sell foam sheets. I know they sold them in mattress sizes, but I'm not sure if they sold them in other sizes. A fabric store sounds like a good idea to try, though.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Foam on 08/21/2011 15:58:55 MDT Print View

Yes. Joanne's sells fairly small sections of that foam. I saw it there yesterday.


spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Foam on 08/21/2011 16:33:20 MDT Print View

awesome, Ryan, thanks for the info.

Thomas Jamrog
(balrog) - F

Locale: New England
Cheap, effective alternative inflatable pillow... on 08/21/2011 17:47:29 MDT Print View

My most successful trail pillow has been one child size water wing, also called arm floats. I cut the ring open along a seam, and it has two chambers with valves to use for inflation. Wrapped in a shirt and tucked into a buff, its not bad at all. They cost $ .97 for a pair, and can be found in dollar type shops.

Gemma Seymour
(yin-haan) - F

Locale: Grid Square FM29, Sol III (Terra)
One word. Latex. on 08/22/2011 12:57:45 MDT Print View

The pillow is one area that I, as a stomach sleeper, refuse to compromise. The best pillows I have ever had are natural latex foam pillows. There are manufacturers of travel-size latex foam pillows, but one can easily sacrifice a standard size pillow and cut out a travel sized chunk, and use a travel-size pillowcase with it. Not UL, per se, but worth it for me. Of course, what do I know...I carry a standard size latex pillow in a 100% wool sham. It squishes down fairly small, and springs right back up when you pull it out of your pack. Currently, I'm investigating a pillow I heard of that's made of natural latex foam with bamboo charcoal mixed in, apparently made by Foshan Lecong Tumei Home Textile Co., Ltd., in Guangdong, China.

Bobby Pack
(Piddler) - MLife

Locale: West Virginia
The Exped Air Pillow on 08/22/2011 18:58:09 MDT Print View

Another vote for Exped. Mine is 2.75 ounces in the stuff sack, 3 with patch kit. I like the shape and that I can adjust the firmness. I've also found that it is good about not sliding around.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
. on 08/06/2012 02:54:43 MDT Print View

Exped Ul pillow 1 something ounces.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Ul pillows that don't feel like a ballon on 08/06/2012 12:09:45 MDT Print View

Mother Nature. I have used dried leaves, grass, and rush inside of a stuff sack with good results. When on sand, I build a mound pillow under the head portion of my shelter. I have used a large rock under the head of my sleeping pad before as well (used my shoes in the same way lots of times). A sack of cattail leaves and tule would be a dream....but I've never camped near them.

Miles Spathelf
(MilesS) - MLife
+1 on the Goosefeet Pillow on 08/06/2012 14:48:47 MDT Print View

I highly recommend the goosefeet pillow (we have two in medium now as my wife liked mine a little too much). The 10d fabric feels nice (though an occasional small down filament will work itself out) and the additional optional pocket makes it easy to stuff a shirt for some extra support. I've tried numerous others (big agnes, exped, even a heavy tempur pedic travel pillow) and so far this one bests them all.

Tyler Newton
(tallhiker) - F

Locale: DC Metro Area
Cocoon UL Air Core on 08/06/2012 15:57:54 MDT Print View

+1 for the Cocoon UL Air Core. It is soft on one side, so partially inflating it leaves it pretty close to a traditional pillow in feel.